Sunday, September 29, 2013

Skillet Chili Mac

I'd had this pinned for a quick and easy weeknight meal, but sometimes, I am so busy from dawn to dusk on the weekends that I need something quick to throw together on a weekend night too. Saturdays are great because it brings us an easy and tempting excuse to either order out or go out to have a nice meal. But Sundays? Sometimes it's just as nice to make something quick and easy- I don't always want to labor away on the weekends because we don't have work.

Here comes a comfy and cozy easy-to-put-together 1-pot meal. Nothing like getting meal prepared in 30 minutes and have only 1 pot to clean! Other reviewers have said that it reminded them of Hamburger Helper- which I could not agree at all. I loathe Hamburger Helper. Aside from all the artificial ingredients, it doesn't even taste good. But, this meal includes items I normally have on hand, AND ingredients I can pronounce (unlike HH). The flavors are delicious- a bit sweet with a hint of warmth and spice (but not spicy). Watch out because this does make a ton of food!

Skillet Chili Mac
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 onion, chopped medium
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped medium
  • Salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces macaroni (2 cups)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Pepper
  • 8 ounces Colby cheese, shredded (I used a Mexican Cheese blend)

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering (I used a medium Dutch oven- you'll need something bigger). Add the beef and cook, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the fat.
  2. After removing the beef from the pan, add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and crushed red pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. 
  4. Stir in the macaroni, tomatoes in their juice, tomato puree, water, brown sugar and drained beef. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the Colby evenly over the top, cover until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes.
Source: Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook 


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